Latest Posts

February 11, 2014

Late Again, an Apology and a Lame Promise

      It has been the better part of four years that I have been writing this column in SNAP.  Early on, there used to be a deadline of the 18th of the month by which contributors were to submit their article for publication in the following months paper. As this left very little time to formulate the layout, edit the articles, and send to publication, writers were eventually asked to adjust their submission dates to the 5th of... View Article

January 31, 2014

Reason for Optimism

boston-comparison-guelph

     A friend of mine was recently relocated from Boston to Dallas for employment purposes. Having visited him in both locations, my observation of the difference in home prices is startling.  One need only acquire a window seat in the airplane and a rudimentary understanding of the concept of supply and demand to get a general understanding of why Dallas provides far more bang for your home buying buck.  Land supply in flat, sprawling Dallas is comparatively unlimited.  When... View Article

January 15, 2014

Phone Manners

For those of us who still maintain one in our homes, the role of the land line telephone has indeed evolved. A generation ago, (and still for some folks who are either too cheap, too stubborn or too smart to own a cell phone), the telephone was a vital link to the outside world.  Today, more and more people forgo ownership of a landline telephone, as their ever present cell phone does a more than sufficient job of keeping them ‘connected’.  While much... View Article

January 1, 2014

Process Your Goals

In my spare time I coach my daughters midget age hockey team. As all who have been involved in kids sports will understand, coaching is my part time job with full time hours. Fortunately in my particular case, the group of parents involved with our team are reasonable people appreciative of the amount of time not only myself, but the entire team staff devote to their kids development. Nonetheless, occasionally parental expectations and a coaches vision will differ. And so it... View Article

December 1, 2013

Silent Thief

Most of us, look at our property taxes as a necessary evil. We have our annual moan of outrage at the property tax hike proposed by the city, then a sigh of relief when the proposed increase is cut in half. Forgot in the process is that property taxes are still rising, and in the process diminishing the average households spending power. What has offset that increase in the last 15 years or so, is a decline in lending rates,... View Article

November 1, 2013

Nice to See You Again?

Mine is a family of first generation immigrants. My parents, like so many other Canadians, and the majority of my relatives, arrived in Canada shortly after World War Two. New immigrants of that time, as is probably still the case today, cleaved closely to each other for support in a strange new land. When they had kids, those children spent many holidays together with their cousins. My memories of childhood are of a close knit extended family. I loved when... View Article

November 1, 2013

Stickin’ To My Knittin’

    While travelling through the States recently I took the opportunity to read the business section of the local paper. The pieces that I find myself gravitate towards are personal help columns written by financial planners. The Globe has such a piece each Saturday, replete financial advice that often includes a warning not to be too heavily invested in Real Estate. It’s a form of professional self torture to read these pieces, but all the same it is interesting to... View Article

October 1, 2013

A Bargain at Twice the Price

My father and I often recount stories from our business dealings – mine ongoing, his mostly recollective. Many aspects about how business is conducted today bears little resemblance to commerce in my fathers day. Though for as much as business may have changed over the years, some core principles remain steadfast. Chief among them, if you can trust a man’s handshake, you do not need his signature. Fortunately, and perhaps surprisingly to some, there are still a great many folks... View Article

October 1, 2013

The Pendulum Swings Both Ways

   A mortgage broker friend of mine and I were recently observing how often folks ask us about “where the market is heading.” In his case, they mean interest rates, in mine, real estate prices. However, the questions are really one and the same. So are the answers- “We don’t know,” “If we were that smart, we would be retired!” While I am extremely bullish on Guelph, and our prospects for continued prosperity, I am also a realist. We do... View Article

September 1, 2013

Collateral Damage

A good friend of mine is in the process of overseeing the sale of his parents’ home in an area of Toronto known as Hogs Hollow.    I’ve never been there, though they tell me it’s nice. In his words, it’s a ‘tear down,’ in an area sought after for its location and the prevailing size of lots in the neighbourhood. The list price? $2.2 million.    Scarcely 60 miles west of there, it is difficult to imagine a home in Guelph selling... View Article